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P E R C Y S 

By Harold Murdoch, 


Houghton Mifflin & Company 






^[Earl Percy's Dinner-Table was first read by the 
author before the Club of Odd Volumes March 20, 1 907. 
\ This copy is one of fifty -two reserved for the Club by the 
publishers, from an edition of 550 numbered copies. 


&>la; / CcJ( r (^^i^i^<^^u^-e^ 


. 3L. Jtt. 


c i 3 

ON the afternoon of July 5, 1774, a crowd 
was gathering in King Street in the town of 
Boston in New England. In the open space 
before the Town House, where a few years before 
Captain Preston's men had fired their historic fusillade, 
knots of people stood about, gazing down towards the 
Long Wharf, beyond which gleamed the untroubled 
waters of the harbor. Another act in the enforcement 
of the Port Bill was about to be played, and the an- 
nouncement had gone forth that His Majesty's 5th 
Regiment of Foot was to land that day and join the 
troops encamped upon the Common. It was a part of 
the humane policy of General Gage that no effort 
should be spared to impress with the pomp and show 
of force the wrong-headed people of the provincial 
capital, and within a fortnight the 4th, the 38th, and 
the 43d regiments had marched from their transports 
to the Common, in all the pride of "insolent parade," 
with colors flying and to the inspiring music of their 


Earl Percy's 

bands. The 5th Regiment had long been expected, 
and something more than common interest was felt in 
this fine corps because it was commanded by Hugh, 
Earl Percy, 1 an officer of exalted birth, of continental 
experience, and who had served a volunteer in Lord 
Granby's cavalry on the never-to-be-forgotten day of 
Minden. The Tories in the town were ready to wel- 
come with open arms the heir to the great Northum- 
berland dukedom, and a few, who, like the celebrated 
Mr. Byles, affected literary tastes, were eager to pay 
their addresses to the nobleman whose parents were 
renowned as patrons of the arts. 

The rebellious element in Boston held the North- 
umbrian duke as not unfriendly to their cause, and 
were inclined to regard the noble Colonel of the 5th 
as perhaps a friend in military disguise. So people of 
all shades of faith and opinion were in the street to 
witness the British march ; but as the afternoon wore 
away and the shadow of Beacon Hill stole across the 
town, there was a thinning of the crowd, and the 
word was passed about that the landing was delayed 
and that the troops would spend the night aboard the 

But the Colonel of the 5 th Foot, after the experi- 
ence of nine long weeks at sea, was in no mood either 
for lingering aboard his foul and dingy ships or for 
attempting any jaunty evolutions to inspire the onlook- 
ers of the street with a sense of the strong arm of King 



George's Ministry. The day was over, the gloom of 
night had settled on the narrow, crooked ways, lights 
twinkled in the taverns and coffee-houses all along the 
ill-paved length of King Street, when, timed to the tap 
of drum, the heavy tramp of the 5 th Regiment was heard 
approaching. The tavern doors and windows filled in 
a moment with surprised onlookers ; a group of officers 
poured out of the British Coffee-House to shout a rough 
welcome to comrades on the march, and the dusky 
column swept on, by the Town House, up the hill of 
Queen Street into Tremont Street, by Dr. Caner's stone 
chapel, and so out upon the gray expanse of the Com- 
mon, where a canvas city had arisen, and where the dull 
glow of camp-fires .flickered here and there upon rows 
of tented streets. It was clear that Earl Percy was no 
play actor, and in that shadowy mass of marching men 
expectant Toryism had no chance to mark its idol. 

As General Gage was residing in Salem, which in the 
operation of the Port Bill had become the seat of the 
provincial governor, he appointed Percy as acting brig- 
adier, and then conferred upon him the command of all 
the troops in Boston. On August 7 there arrived in Bos- 
ton from New York " His Majesty's Royal Regiment 
of Welch Fuzileers," under command of Colonel Bar- 
nard, and headed by their famous band they marched 
to Fort Hill and pitched their camp. They were hailed 
in the Massachusetts Gazette as " one of the six re- 
nowned British Corps, to whose valor and intrepidity 


Earl Percy's 

the ever memorable victory at Minden was gloriously 
acquired, the ist of August, 1759." It is " a clever little 
army" that he commands, so the Earl writes to Dr. 
Percy in London. 

As we glance over the letters written by his Lord- 
ship from Boston in 1774, 2 and as we turn the stained 
and faded files of the Boston newspapers of that day, 
we can gain some faint idea of what the town was like, 
and of what went on within it. Percy has little to say 
of the town itself. Mr. John Adams, coming to Boston 
from the seclusion of Braintree, was driven half mad by 
the bustle and distractions of the New England metro- 
polis. He was bewildered by " the crowd of men, wo- 
men, beasts and carriages," and his attention solicited 
every moment by some new sight or some new sound. 
But Percy would hardly have been oppressed by feel- 
ings like these, and the town that drove Mr. Adams 
wild with its uproar was doubtless dull enough to him. 
There was nothing in Boston to suggest the whirl of 
life that surged along Fleet Street and under Temple 
Bar; the gayety of the Mall hinted only dimly at what 
one found in St. James's Park on a sunny afternoon, or 
at Vauxhall or Ranelagh on a gala night. Moreover, 
Percy was used to looking out from the windows of 
Northumberland House upon the rush and roar of 
traffic that seethed about Charing Cross, where, accord- 
ing to Samuel Johnson, " the full tide of human exist- 
ence " ebbed and flowed. 



One of Percy's first transactions in the town was to 
buy a three-year-old horse for which he paid ^"450, 
but he was obliged to send to New York for a pair of 
chaise horses that were to his mind. Equipped in this 
fashion he finds time to ride or drive into the suburbs, 
and then his enthusiasm is mightily moved. The view 
of the Thames from Sion House had never stirred him 
as the vistas of the Charles from the road that led to 
the Colleges in Cambridge. The varied landscape, with 
its gently sloping hillsides, interspersed everywhere 
with trees and bright waters, filled him with delight, 
and he assured his father that Nature in this favored 
land had achieved effects that put to the blush the care- 
fully nurtured acres of the great park at Alnwick. "This 
is the most beautiful country I ever saw in my life," he 
writes, "and if the people were only like it, we sh d do 
very well." He had come out well inclined toward the 
Province and its inhabitants. He had almost yielded to 
the advice of the Duke his father and declined to serve 
in America, but his sense of soldierly obedience pre- 
vailed and he had brought out his regiment with small 
admiration for its mission. His good will toward the 
people did not long outlive his arrival upon the Com- 
mon. They " are a set of sly, artful, hypocritical ras- 
calls, cruel, & cowards." Such was his comment in 
August. " I must own I cannot but despise them com- 
pleately. . . . To hear them talk, you would imagine 
that they would attack us & demolish us every night." 


Earl Percy's 

His Lordship, like the majority of the English officers, 
could not understand how the civil disorders, and the 
treasonable sentiments that animated press and pulpit, 
could flourish in a community where prosperity and 
personal liberty were so universally enjoyed as in His 
Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay. What 
were the evils of which these people complained ? As 
for tea, Boston might drink it more cheaply than Lon- 
don if it would. It was the loyal element in the com- 
munity that suffered and was threatened with the loss 
of free speech and all protection of the law. The crimes 
of these people consisted in their protesting treason and 
in their approval of Hutchinson's government, and the 
indignities and violence inflicted upon them were the 
work of men who had recourse to solemn fasts and who 
cited the Almighty as their unswerving ally. The be- 
wildered gentlemen of the army were not experts at 
law, and they could not comprehend the local readings 
of the Massachusetts Charter. It must be admitted that 
they were in much the position of Mr. James Boswell 
when he declared that he had "read little and thought 
little on the subject of America." 

Having delivered his opinion of the country and of 
the people, Earl Percy took up in his correspondence 
a third phase of his environment. " Our climate is hor- 
ribly inconstant," this was the burden of his comment. 
" It is ten times more inconstant than in England, for 
I have been in the Torrid & Frigid Zone frequently in 


Dinner-Table 7 

the space of 24 hours. At some times, so hot as scarce 
to bear my shirt, at others so cold that an additional 
blanket was scarcely sufficient." Here is matter to con- 
vince us that, however conditions may have changed in 
Boston since the Year of Grace 1774, the climate of 
Earl Percy's time still reigns supreme upon the shores 
of Massachusetts Bay. 

Despite his disgust for the townspeople, Percy dealt 
fairly by them and won the confidence and good will 
of the selectmen. 3 He informed these gentry that any 
disorder on the part of the soldiery would be promptly 
punished and that all law-abiding citizens should look 
upon the army as a safeguard and not as a menace. 
When a midnight fire broke out in Mr. Morton's house 
in Fish Street, and threatened the destruction of the 
North End, we are told that " Earl Percy politely 
offered the Service of the Soldiery " to fight the flames 
and was thanked "for his Kindness" by the authorities. 
But when the artisans laboring on barracks for the 
winter accommodation of the troops left their work 
through fear of the displeasure of their friends without 
the town, the Earl abandoned all hope of the local pop- 
ulation, as a community who were bent on mischief 
and of their own will had gone over to the Devil. 4 

Before the close of the autumn the garrison of five 
regiments had been increased to nine, with an efficient 
train of the Royal Artillery. We find mention at this 
time of activity and turmoil among the Boston militia. 


8 Earl Percy's 

Mr. John Hancock, as a foe to Government, was re- 
moved by Gage from the command of the Independent 
Company of Cadets, whereupon the members disbanded 
and the resignations of the officers and the colors of the 
corps were handed to the Governor at Danvers. We 
read too of an early October day when the Ancient and 
Honorable Artillery Company concluded their training 
for the year by a march from the Town House to Copp's 
Hill. One wonders if Earl Percy saw them pass, and 
how their drill and discipline compared with that of 
the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 5 There was hard and con- 
stant work on the Common for the British troops, and 
the fair Dorothy Quincy has left us memories of the 
time when her morning slumbers were disturbed by 
Earl Percy drilling his regiment in the fields before the 
Hancock mansion. 

Here on the Common all Boston gathers to witness 
with varying sentiments the evolutions of the troops. 
Mr. John Hancock in purple and fine linen looks out 
from his coach upon the scene. Dr. Joseph Warren, 
quietly but fashionably dressed, stands chatting with 
Major Small, whom the town esteems despite the uni- 
form he wears. The Major hopes that his elegant young 
friend in gazing upon the martial spectacle will realize 
the futility of the provincial contention and will urge 
his people to bow in submission to the might of Britain. 
But the feelings stirred in Warren are of a different sort, 
and he is to put them into words for a memorable occa- 


sion. 6 Near by, a group is gathered about a burly red- 
faced man in the garb of a farmer who is warmly greeted 
by more than one English officer who marks him in the 
throng. Israel Putnam 7 of Connecticut is the hero of 
many an exploit and hairbreadth escape in the French 
war, and he is fighting his battles over again with Colo- 
nel Abercrombie of the 2 2d Regiment. Those within 
sound of Putnam's boisterous voice will discover that 
however great his courage he has a boastful tongue. 
Major Small taunts him in passing upon being an old 
rebel, and he noisily admits the impeachment. And here 
is Mather Byles punning for the delight of the bystand- 
ers, and pointing to the scarlet ranks, thanking God that 
at last he sees the grievances of the colony "red-dressed." 
Conspicuous among the laughers at Dr. Byles is a young 
officer with a face of almost feminine beauty. This is 
Lieutenant John Andre, who is journeying overland 
from Philadelphia to join his regiment in Canada. He 
is detained in town by General Gage, who, much im- 
pressed by his keen powers of observation, is said to find 
the narrative of his travels not only entertaining but 
of real value to the King's cause. Charles Lee, lank 
and ungainly, described in the Boston press as one of 
"the greatest military characters of the present age," 
blusters about, hungry for admiration, disregarded and 
snubbed by his old companions in arms. 8 And then 
the eye falls on the honest face and sturdy form of 
Nathaniel Greene, of Rhode Island. His face burns 


io Earl Percy's 

with admiration as the serried lines of the 5th Foot 
sweep by him, and he thinks it would be joy to fight 
with or against such men as these. When the troops 
return to their camps and the crowd has melted away, 
you will find this military enthusiast at the shop of 
Mr. Knox on Cornhill, or poring over the volumes 
of some other bookseller for works that have to do with 
the Art of War. 

We have noted the comments in Earl Percy's corre- 
spondence in regard to the country, the people, and the 
climate of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay. On 
August 1 5 he writes to his father concerning another 
important matter. "What I feel myself the most com- 
fortable in acquiring, is a good house to dine in (for we 
are all obliged to remain at other times & sleep in the 
camp). By this convenience I am enabled to ask the 
officers of the Line, & occasionally the Gentlemen of 
the country, to dine with me; & as I have the com- 
mand of the Troops here, I have always a table of 1 2 
covers every day." 

The house occupied by Percy stood within its garden 
at the head of Winter Street. 9 It had been built early in 
the century, and its windows looked out upon the open 
pasturage of the Common. Through the thin foliage 
of those youthful elms which Mr. Paddock planted, 
loomed the crest of Beacon Hill, with its gaunt signal 
drawn like a gibbet against the sky, while more to the 
west and down the slope there was a glimpse of the 


Dinner-Table 1 1 

bright waters of the Charles, with the wooded heights 
of Brookline and Newton beyond. The location was 
most convenient for the Earl, who was always within 
a stone's throw of the camps. 

It is pleasant to see him crossing the Common each 
afternoon to do the honors of his mansion, and day by 
day and week by week it is interesting to watch his 
guests passing in and out the great door. It opens to offi- 
cers in scarlet and gold, and to officers in the blue of the 
Royal Navy, to gentlemen in silk and brocade, and to 
gentlemen in velvet and lace. Old Dr. Caner goes up 
the path leaning upon his stick, the great coach of Colo- 
nel Royall lumbers up to the garden gate, the chaise 
of Judge Lee waits in Winter Street to carry His Honor 
back to Cambridge. 10 All those who love the King 
within this stern old New England town rejoice in the 
polite summons that brings them to Earl Percy's din- 

And now, as the darkness of an early spring day 
comes on, let us in imagination look into Earl Percy's 
dining-room and see what passes there. The newly 
lighted candles are burning brightly on the broad table 
around which the Earl's eleven guests are sitting at their 
ease, all but three in the uniform of the royal army. 
The dinner is cleared away and the port and madeira 
are going the rounds. The Earl is chatting with a 
strapping officer on his left whose handsome face is a 
fair legacy from the race of which he comes. This is 


12 Earl Percy's 

Lieutenant-Colonel John Gunning of the 43d Foot, 
who has the honor to be the brother of the famous 
Gunning sisters, and through them a brother-in-law to 
the Duke of Argyll and to the Earl of Coventry. "My 
sister the Duchess," and " My sister the late Countess 
of Coventry," are well-worn phrases with Colonel 
Gunning, and within a year his pride has been stirred 
again by the marriage of his niece with Lord Stanley, 
the heir to the affluent Earl of Derby. The handsome 
Colonel speaks with something of a brogue, betraying 
his Irish origin, and if his memory is good he can recall 
dark days of childhood when the family fortunes were 
low, dishonor imminent, and when the situation was 
saved by warm-hearted George Anne Bellamy, of the 
Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin. But those days are 
long past, and Colonel Gunning glories not only in his 
connection with great families in England, and in his 
rapid rise in the army, but also in an honest and com- 
placent conviction that he is thirty-second in descent 
from Charlemagne. 

On the right of Lord Percy is a lad of twelve or thir- 
teen years, who is the hero of the occasion. This is 
Roger Sheaffe, son to the faithful customs collector 
whose memory is abhorred by rebellious Boston. He 
has won his way into the affection of the Earl, who has 
promised to see to it that he gains a commission in his 
regiment. The plans are laid and the youth is about to 
set sail for England to gain such training as shall fit him 


Dinner-Table 13 

for his profession. The Earl has presented him to-night 
to his future comrades of the army, and the radiant face 
of the boy must be a pleasant sight in his lordship's 

Standing by the chair of the future soldier and call- 
ing the blushes to his face with their banter are two 
young officers who wear the insignia of the rank of 
lieutenant. One is Francis, Lord Rawdon, of the Gren- 
adier Company of Percy's regiment, the son of the Earl 
of Moira, a tall elegant young fellow with a future be- 
fore him, the Earl thinks; the other is Edward Thoro- 
ton Gould of the 4th or King's Own Regiment, short 
and slight, with restless dark eyes and lines of dissipa- 
tion on his pale face. His friends declare that he is a 
good soldier if something of a rake withal. 

The rather stout officer who sits beyond Sheaffe, 
playing with his wineglass and occasionally exchanging 
a word with Lord Rawdon, is the Hon. Henry Edward 
Fox, the youngest son of the late Lord Holland, and a 
captain in the 38th Regiment. Any one familiar with 
the prominent faces at Westminster, at Brooks's Club, 
or on the track at Newmarket, would recognize in the 
Captain a near kinsman to the celebrated Charles James 
Fox, who has just come to what may mean the end of 
his public career in his removal by the King's command 
from the commissionership of the Treasury. Harry Fox 
is said to have little of his brother's brilliancy and none 
of his vices', and when the 38th sailed for America Mr. 


14 Earl Percy's 

Horace Walpole of Strawberry Hill informed Sir Hor- 
ace Mann that they took with them Lord Holland's 
" only good son." He sits quiet and good-humored at 
Earl Percy's table, with little but his increasing flesh to 
worry him, and bears himself with a certain well-bred 
air that Gunning, with all his handsome face and kins- 
men by marriage, would give much to attain. 

At the side of Fox is George Harris, Lord Rawdon's 
captain, a well-built young officer with clear, honest 
eyes and the glow of health in his cheeks. He regards 
himself as an untried and inexperienced soldier, but 
Percy will affirm that he is a model officer with a genius 
for commanding men. His reputation for courage is 
secure. Half the army knows of that gallant rescue of 
a brother officer from the swift and cruel current of the 
Ouse, and of that duel in Ireland where his coolness and 
pluck were matched by his generosity and forbearance. 
Harris is talking across the table with Captain William 
Glanville Evelyn of the King's Own, a man of quiet, 
serious countenance, marked with the scars of small- 
pox. Captain Evelyn is not a youngster, and fifteen 
years have passed since he first donned the King's uni- 
form. He is one of those faithful, hard-working soldiers 
who progress slowly because of lack of influence. His 
letters home contain frequent appeals for an introduc- 
tion to "the great people" on duty in Boston, or for 
a good word to the great ones at home. He is flattered 
and happy to sit at Earl Percy's table to-night. Scandal 


Dinner-Table 15 

has not left the Captain's name unsullied, and the curi- 
ous among his acquaintance would know more of pretty 
Peggie Wright, who has come out to him from Eng- 
land. It is whispered that she was a servant in his father's 
household. Major Pitcairn, sitting at the foot of the 
board, has heard the gossip ; but if you ask for his opinion 
of what Evelyn means and what the future holds for Peg- 
gie Wright, he, as an honest husband who has brought 
up nine children on his modest pay, will merely say, 
" God knows." Captain Evelyn has more than his own 
fortunes and those of Peggie Wright to think of now, 
for he has in his care that rather prim young soldier who 
is with him at the table, his kinsman George Evelyn 
Boscawen of the King's Own. Ensign Boscawen is the 
sole surviving son of the late Admiral Boscawen. He is 
the nephew and heir of the childless Viscount Falmouth, 
and he is here on active service in the army despite 
the prayers and tears of the fondest of mothers. 11 Young 
Boscawen is brother-in-law to Admiral John Leveson 
Gower and to the Duke of Beaufort, and it is to Lady 
Gower that Evelyn writes by every ship concerning the 
most trivial happenings in the Ensign's career. Bos- 
cawen has the enthusiasm of youth and has already 
discovered some shocking flaws in the English army 
system. So he has been laughed down by his mess and 
is known in the regiment by the nickname of " the 
General." He bears this promotion meekly and hence- 
forward inclines to speak only a fragment of what he 


1 6 Earl Percy's 

thinks. He is an object of interest to the youth in 
the blue of the Royal Navy who sits between Captain 
Harris and the Reverend Mather Byles. This is Cuth- 
bert Collingwood, of the Somerset man-of-war, which 
lies at anchor in the stream ofFCharlestown ferry. Col- 
lingwood knows his profession, and knowing too some- 
thing of the naval history of Great Britain, he wonders 
whether it will ever be his luck to do as good work as 
Bosca wen's father wrought against the French at Louis- 
burg and in Lagos Bay. 

At the foot of the table the Reverend Mather Byles 
is discoursing with Major John Pitcairn of the Royal 
Marines, and keeping that staid old officer in a state of 
uproarious laughter. Poor Dr. Byles labors under the 
disadvantage of being considered not only a preacher 
but a poet and wit as well. 12 Within the year a doggerel 
rhyme describing the local clergy has gone the rounds 
in Boston, and in the two stanzas devoted to Byles even 
his friends admit that a lively portrait has been drawn. 

There 's punning Byles provokes our smiles, 

A man of stately parts ; 

Who visits folks to crack his jokes, 

That never mend their hearts. 

With strutting gait and wig so great, 
He walks along the streets, 
And throws out wit, or what 's like it, 
To every one he meets. 


Dinner-Table 17 

Though not of the Church of England, Dr. Byles is 
in the eyes of the army the most sensible as well as the 
most delightful clergyman in Boston. He has corre- 
spondents among the brightest literary lights in Eng- 
land, and will show with pride volumes from his library 
with the loving inscription of his dear friend the late 
Mr. Pope of immortal memory. At heart an arrant 
Tory, he has kept his congregation in order by asserting 
that his functions are spiritual and that it is not for him 
to profane his pulpit by discussing the political prob- 
lems of the day. The local clergy is a hearty rebel body 
and they have small opinion of a man who prays for the 
King in meeting, and refuses to choose his texts for 
the elucidation of public questions. It is no aid to the 
Doctor's standing with his flock that he consorts with 
the gentlemen of the army, and allows his daughters to 
promenade the Mall with these enemies of American 
Liberty. The band of the 5th Regiment has played 
sweet serenades beneath the windows of the Misses 
Byles, and now here is the Doctor himself sipping his 
wine and throwing old Pitcairn into convulsions of 
laughter at Earl Percy's dinner-table. 

There is that in the Major which attracts the Re- 
verend Byles as it must all men who admire honest 
simplicity and courage. Here in rebellious Boston, 
hot-headed townspeople affronted by quarrelsome or 
drunken soldiers are glad to leave their grievances in 
Pitcairn's hands for reparation. Blunt and outspoken, 


1 8 Earl Percy's 

he is yet a modest man, and in the long years that have 
passed since he left his Fifeshire home he feels that he 
has made little of his life. He has been knocking about 
on land and sea, righting the King's battles, until he 
wonders whether all his children would remember his 
lined and weather-beaten face. He thinks with pride 
of that good brother I3 who has risen to the presidency of 
the College of Physicians in London and thanks God 
that distinction has come to his family, though he must 
remain in obscurity as a mere major of marines. Were 
he gifted with second sight he would see that his time 
on earth is short, but he could also see his brilliant son H 
rising in another generation to be the pride and envy 
of the medical profession in London. If the time shall 
come, which God forbid, that the sword is really drawn 
in this distracted province, he will do his full duty to 
the King, and do it humanely by firing low with shotted 
muskets. In the mean time he is accomplishing as much 
for peace as any man in Boston who wears King George's 

Had Captain Evelyn been possessed of the peculiar 
talents of Mr. Boswell of Auchinleck, he might have 
left us some such narrative as this : — 

This evening I dined with Earl Percy at his house 
at the head of Winter Street. George and I were glad 
of this opportunity to sit at his Lordship's table, and 
we met there besides young Roger Sheaffe, a Boston 


Dinner-Table 19 

lad who is much in Percy's favor, Colonel Gunning, 
Major Pitcairn of the Marines, young Collingwood of 
the Navy, Lord Rawdon and Captain Harris of the 
5th, Fox of the 38th, the Reverend Doctor Byles who 
preaches at the meeting-house in Hollis Street, and little 
Gould of Ours. Earl Percy presided at his table with the 
elegance of a man of fashion, and was most civil to me. 
He displayed at once the good breeding of a gentleman 
of birth with the frank comradeship of the soldier. 
After dinner he called upon us to drink the health of 
" Captain Sheaffe, who loved a red coat," ' 5 and lavished 
upon the boy many remarks of approbation. His Lord- 
ship told us that he was under great obligation to the 
family of Master Sheaffe for many courtesies received 
in Boston, and that a few days since the lad had ex- 
pressed the hope that some day he might wear the red 
coat, and be hailed as "Captain Sheaffe." "And so," 
the Earl continued, " it is to be my pleasure to see this 
boy properly schooled and trained for His Majesty's 
service, and he is here to-night to meet the gentlemen 
of the army who are to be his future comrades and 
friends." Then turning to Collingwood he made some 
pleasant remark to the effect that though his young 
charge preferred the red coat to the blue, yet he would 
be trained in all admiration for the service which Col- 
lingwood had chosen, and which Mr. Boscawen's noble 
father had so conspicuously adorned. This remark, which 
his Lordship made most graciously, put at least two 


20 Earl Percy's 

young men in that room in excellent humour. Sheaffe 
discovered many signs of his happiness and confusion. 
He was greeted by all the gentlemen present, and old 
Pitcairn, who they say has a legion of sons of his own, 
put his hands on his shoulders, told him he was a fine 
lad, and hoped that we should all live to see him a gen- 
eral. When we had become quiet again, the Earl went 
on to say that Roger was not the first of his mother's 
family to embrace the red coat. A few years before, his 
sister had married Ponsonby Molesworth, then a cap- 
tain of the 29th and stationed in Boston. It was love 
at first sight. The regiment had just landed and was 
halting in Queen Street on the way to the Common. 
Molesworth saw Susannah Sheaffe leaning from the bal- 
cony of her father's house and declared to an officer near 
him, "That girl seals my fate! " So there was a brief 
courtship and a marriage, and tempted by domestic 
bliss Molesworth sold out his commission and settled 
down in Devonshire. "So," the Earl continued, "the 
Sheaffes having drawn one good soldier from the King's 
colours are to give another in his place." The lad, as 
though feeling that his sister's loyalty had been ques- 
tioned, then said in very pretty fashion that if Mr. 
Molesworth was not now of the army, yet his sister still 
loved the red coat. He had seen only the other day 
a letter she had written her mother from Devonshire 
regretting that she was obliged to stay " in that riotous 
Boston where misguided rebels were giving such trouble 


Dinner-Table 21 

to our good King George." There was an honest ring 
to this, and we cheered the boy with a will. Had we 
been at Colonel Nesbitt's or at General Pigot's, I think 
Gould would have started a stanza of " Hot Stuff," l6 but 
even he did not dare risk it at Earl Percy's table. 

The Earl spoke of the beauty of the wooded country 
about Jamaica Plain, which led Harris to say that he 
thought the entrance to the harbour and the view of 
the town from it to be the most charming thing he ever 
saw, surpassing indeed the far-famed Bay of Dublin. 
For himself he would prefer some less favoured country 
where an active campaign was afoot. I was stirred to 
say some very harsh things of this generation of vipers 
that is troubling Massachusetts and to express the belief 
that Harris would not have long to wait nor far to travel 
to find use for his powder and ball. I think they were 
of my mind on our side the table, but on the other Dr. 
Byles had something to say for Boston. Mr. Fox said 
nothing. He has a way of saying little when there is 
much talk — a trait, I am told, in Lord Holland's 
family. Harris declared that while he should like to try 
what stuff he was made of, yet he would rather the trial 
should be with others than these poor fellows of kin- 
dred blood. Gould prayed to be delivered from all such 
kinsmen and alluded to the decoration of Tory door- 
ways with "Hillsborough paint." 17 Some one called 
attention to the mean attack on Colonel Ruggle's house 
and the maiming of his animals. Pitcairn declared the 


22 Earl Percy's 

worst cowards to be those who in fear of the rebels were 
publishing in the papers their regrets for having signed 
the farewell address to Governor Hutchinson. 18 His 
Lordship was inclined to think that these gentlemen 
were in a bad situation if located in the country where 
the protection of the troops did not reach. He spoke of 
the insults heaped upon the court officers at Worcester 
and at other places, and thought that the General might 
soon dispatch a brigade up into the country to support 
the authorities who were endeavouring to maintain the 
law in riotous communities. Pitcairn believed he could 
march a battalion of marines straight through Massa- 
chusetts, and bring the people to terms without the 
radical use of force. Mr. Fox roused himself at this, and 
quoted old Putnam, the Connecticut ranger, as saying 
that the King's troops could march over the continent 
provided " they behaved themselves civilly and paid 
well for everything they wanted." Dr. Byles saw wit 
in this and ventured a mild defence of the holy hypo- 
crites who are ruining this province. He believed the 
disorderly element was not numerous, and that with 
a little patience on the part of the authorities and the 
military the present troubles would subside and all be- 
come again loyal and law-abiding subjects of the King. 
" I recall," he said, " when patience has served me well 
in dealing with our selectmen. A foul quagmire had 
long stood in the street before my door, and my com- 
plaints at the Town House brought me no relief. One 


Dinner-Table 23 

day from my window I saw a chaise containing two of 
our selectmen wallowing in the bog and quite unable 
to flounder out. I could not refrain from shouting ' I 
am glad at last, gentlemen, to see you stirring in that 
matter.' " A roar of laughter greeted this speech of the 
reverend gentleman, who has a great local reputation as 
a wit. 

I did not think that Pitcairn relished the implied 
criticism of the troops in Captain Fox's last remark, and 
I own I was offended by it. No sooner had Dr. Byles 
subsided than Mr. Fox spoke again to say that a wise 
Parliament at Westminster and a wise Ministry at St. 
James's were quite as essential to peace in the Province 
as patient soldiers in Boston. His Lordship smiled at 
this, and said that soldiers were fortunate in not having 
to assume the burdens of Parliament or of Ministers, 
having only to execute loyally the King's commands. 
Mr. Fox, quite unabashed, replied that he believed the 
army had not been above reproach in its sphere and that 
too many of the officers had earned the reproaches and 
enmity of the townspeople. Pitcairn, who had flushed 
red at the first remark of Mr. Fox, to my surprise loudly 
assented to this, and thanked God that the marines had 
never been concerned in the disorders charged to the 
military. He deplored the destruction of King Han- 
cock's fence, the scandalous doings at Miss Erskine's, 
and the attack by drunken soldiers on the Providence 
coach. 19 Officers should keep sober and should keep 


24 Earl Percy's 

their men in order if they had to flog them by com- 
panies. The Major's allusion to the affair of the coach 
was an unhappy one, for Captain Gore of Percy's regi- 
ment is believed to have been the chief offender. His 
Lordship passed over the matter gracefully and informed 
the Major that he believed that the incident had been 
much exaggerated. A remark of mine called forth satir- 
ical comment from Captain Fox, though I must own 
that his bearing was both quiet and polite. When I re- 
ferred to Mr. Samuel Adams of this town as a man of 
" desperate fortune whose political existence depended 
upon the continuance of the present dispute," Fox re- 
marked that it became all of us to speak respectfully of 
the man for whom two regiments in His Majesty's serv- 
ice had been named. 20 This caused a general laugh in 
which Earl Percy joined, while Mr. Byles called out 
from the foot of the table that he hoped Roger Sheaffe 
would not quote this sally of Captain Fox to Mr. 
Molesworth, late of the 29th Regiment. 

Gould alluded to the gossip in regard to Captain 
Scawen of the Guards and the wife of Captain Hor- 
neck of the same regiment. The Earl, perhaps out of 
consideration for the youth of Roger Sheaffe, or be- 
cause his own matrimonial affairs are not in a good 
state, diverted the talk from the line in which Gould 
would have pressed it. He turned the subject by asking 
Dr. Byles across the table if he admired the verse of 
Dr. Goldsmith, whose death has occurred within the 


Dinner-Table 2,5 

year. Dr. Byles replied that he regarded Goldsmith as 
an ingenious man of excellent promise, though not to be 
compared with his old friend and correspondent Mr. 
Pope, whose work he believed would endure till the 
end of time. The Earl had heard it said that "the Cap- 
tain in Lace" mentioned in Dr. Goldsmith's poem of 
" Retaliation" was none other than the Captain Horneck 
to whom Mr. Gould had referred. " I have often heard," 
said the Earl, "my friend Dr. Percy mention Dr. Gold- 
smith with respect, and it was through him that the 
poet was first presented to my father at Northumber- 
land House. A number of years since, Dr. Goldsmith 
wrote a poem which hesent in manuscript to my mother 
and which she had printed for distribution among her 
friends. I have heard that these verses were afterwards 
incorporated in Dr. Goldsmith's novel of 'The Vicar of 
Wakefield.' " 2I The Earl continued that he had heard 
much from Dr. Percy of Goldsmith's odd manners and 
improvident habits, and how on one occasion he strayed 
into the Duke of Northumberland's lodgings in Bath, 
mistaking them, he believed, for the house of his friend 
Lord Clare. His Grace, who held Dr. Goldsmith in high 
esteem, and would have helped him had he known his 
necessities, prevailed upon him on this occasion to atone 
for his error by remaining to dinner. 

Captain Fox said that he believed Goldsmith was 
well known to his brother Charles, as they were mem- 
bers together of a literary club in London. He had 


26 Earl Percy's 

heard his brother speak in warmest praise of Mr. Gold- 
smith's merits, and knew that he regarded the "Travel- 
ler" as "one of the finest poems in the English lan- 
guage." He feared that the poet's death had been 
hastened by the burden of heavy debts. Here Gould 
muttered in my ear to wonder whether, if Lord Hol- 
land had not come to the financial relief of Charles 
Fox, that portly gambler would have been crushed as 
easily as the Duke's scribbling friend from Grub Street. 
Some allusion being made to the Battle of Minden, the 
conversation became for a time professional in character. 
George, with his head full of theories, asked whether 
it was not a mistake to detach the flank companies of 
regiments of foot for separate service. But the poor lad 
had not gone far in his argument before Gould was 
patting his back and hailing him as "the General," 
till confused and abashed he took refuge in blushes. 
Pitcairn hoped that no more regiments on the Irish 
establishment would be sent out. He had never known 
such a record of desertions on foreign service, and the 
rascals recruited in Ireland showed a clear willingness 
to fight on the rebel side. 22 The Earl explained that 
there had been much exaggeration in these matters. The 
other day there had been a statement published in Bos- 
ton that one hundred men of the Royal Irish had de- 
serted and gone into the country. As there were only 
three companies of the regiment stationed in Boston, 
this would be a substantial loss, yet the Earl could assure 


Dinner-Table 2,7 

the Major that the battalion was in good condition with 
fairly full ranks. Pitcairn was glad to have his Lord- 
ship's assurance on this point, but thought it a matter 
for regret that no Scotch regiments had been -sent to 
Boston. The Scots were an orderly people, and he be- 
lieved Fraser's made a fine record with Wolfe. Mr. 
Byles here remarked that the House of Brunswick had 
not always regarded the Scotch as an orderly people, 
and said gayly that he was not sure that the Major him- 
self had not been out in the Forty -jive. 2Z Pitcairn had a 
retort ready, but Gunning interrupted to say that he 
was glad to hear the Highlanders mentioned as having 
been at Quebec. He had always understood that the 43d 
had seen some fighting on the Plains of Abraham, but 
since the landing of the 47th in Boston the impression 
seemed to be that Montcalm was beaten by a few com- 
panies of " Wolfe's Own." The Earl laughed at this 
outbreak, and bowing very politely to Gunning said 
that the glorious record of the 43d was better known 
than the Colonel would admit, and then added that the 
Major would be glad to know that as Ireland had been 
drawn on so heavily for troops the new regiments were 
almost certain to be sent from England. Then, turning 
again to Colonel Gunning, the Earl remarked that it 
had been decided that General Burgoyne was coming 
out in a few weeks. It seems that fiurgoyne and Gun- 
ning are both uncles to Lord Stanley, whose fete cham- 
petre of last year in honor of his marriage with Lady 


28 Earl Percy's 

Betty Hamilton was for months the talk of the town. 
Upon mention of this gorgeous affair, the Earl stated 
that George Selwyn had said that it had every appear- 
ance of having been planned by Burgoyne and paid for 
by Lord Stanley, at which Gunning broke into a roar 
of laughter that brought over Dr. Byles to find out 
what wit there was not of his making. 

Mr. Fox had become engaged in a discussion with 
Lord Rawdon upon the value of the American breed 
of horses as compared with the English stock, and was 
showing vast animation for him. Dr. Byles, interrupt- 
ing, suggested Pitcairn as a competent man to judge the 
dispute. The Major affirmed that while he knew little 
of the complicated workmanship of the beast, he could 
handle any quadruped that neighed. Every Fife man 
could ride, and he would race the Doctor on a wager 
from the North Battery to the Neck. The Earl said that 
he had supposed the Major would declare for the Scot- 
tish animal as his standard, and asked Harris whether 
he had forgotten the good horses they saw on the track 
at Kelso when they went from Alnwick to the races 
in 1772. Harris remembered the bonny lasses he saw 
that day far better than the horses, whereupon the 
Major, forgetting his challenge, burst forth into a fine 
encomium upon the ladies of his native land. 

We rose as the bell on the South Meeting-House 
was striking nine. The evening was the pleasantest I 
have passed in Boston. I believe I am regarded favour- 

Dinner-Table 2,9 

ably by his Lordship, and shall study to win his interest. 
We went out pretty much together; Master Sheaffe 
walked down Tremont Street with Collingwood and 
Pitcairn ; the Reverend Byles was sent home in his 
Lordship's coach. As we crossed the street to the Com- 
mon, the Earl was already coming out of his garden 
with his cloak about him to make his evening rounds. 

30 Earl Percy's 

C n ] 

THE coming of General Gage to reside in Bos- 
ton relieved Earl Percy of many responsibil- 
ities, but there is no reason to believe that the 
hospitality of the Province House dimmed the attrac- 
tions of the mansion at the head of Winter Street. 
Throughout the season we meet the Earl here and there 
about his duties. The season is not a harsh one, but the 
townspeople are amazed that he walks and rides with 
bosom open and wears no greatcoat. The mild winter 
melts into an early spring and mid-April finds the grass 
green upon the Common, while the trees along the 
Mall are already bursting into foliage. 

Doubtless Boston slept well on the night of the 1 8th 
of April, 1775, but we have it on good authority that 
it was otherwise with Earl Percy. We can place him 
on the Common not far from midnight, where he over- 
hears the remark of a townsman that the British have 
marched upon a vain errand. From here we can follow 
him to the Province House, where behind closed doors 
it is believed that he consumed the early morning hours 
in consulting with his commander and in upbraiding 
him with having confided an important secret to an 


Dinner-Table 31 

unworthy confidant. 24 A few hours later and he is 
mounted upon a white charger, and with pistols in 
holster is riding along the line of soldiery that extends 
all the way from Queen Street along Tremont Street 
almost to the bottom of the Mall. 

When early risers on this historic morning attempt 
to cross the thoroughfare that skirtsthe Common, they 
are amazed at the imposing display of force that blocks 
the way. All sorts of wild stories are afloat as to what 
this commotion means. The townsmen hear that the 
Grenadiers and Light Infantry of the garrison went into 
the country last night, leaving the town by water from 
the bottom of the Common. It is whispered that their 
aim is the cannon at Concord and perhaps the arrest 
of John Hancock and Samuel Adams. It is said that 
secret measures were taken early to warn these men, 
and that signal lanterns burned last evening in the steeple 
of the North Church. It is believed that they have bad 
news at the Province House and that the troops now 
forming are going out under Earl Percy to reinforce 
last night's expedition. 

The army hears that the Grenadiers and Light In- 
fantry have gone out on a secret mission, that Smith of 
the 1 oth is in command, and that the General has had 
the good sense to send Pitcairn along to keep an eye on 
things; that an express arrived from Smith before dawn, 
saying that the country was aroused, and asking for re- 
inforcements ; that there is a stupid blunder somewhere 


32 Earl Percy's 

in the orders, and so the brigade is not all mustered 
yet. Now everything is awaiting the arrival of the 
marines, and it is clear that Percy is disgusted and in 
bad humor. 

Eight o'clock has sounded from the Old South tower, 
and at last the belated marines are arriving. The serge- 
ants bustle about among their men, the lines are dressed, 
and as the hands of the town clocks are nearing nine 
the command to march passes along the street. Harri- 
son Gray Otis, on his way to the Latin School, is turned 
back on Queen Street by a brusque officer and makes 
his way up School Street in time to see the soldiers and 
hear those famous words of dismissal from Master Lov- 
ell. 25 As the boys pour out of the building that is closing 
for many a long month, the troops are moving, the 
drums are rolling, and the fifes are screaming the shrill 
strains of "Yankee Doodle." The head of the column is 
below West Street, and to all those in the throng who love 
the British flag it is an inspiring sight. The marines go 
by with solid files, the best men Pitcairn thinks who 
ever fixed bayonet on musket ; then follows a fine regi- 
ment which from the King's cipher and the royal lion 
on their colors we recognize as the "King's Own." But 
the flank companies are missing, which means that 
Evelyn, Boscawen, and Gould went out with Smith 
last night. And here is the 47th, "Wolfe's Own," the 
famous corps that fought on the Plains of Abraham 
and saw its commander die victorious under the walls 


Dinner-Table 33 

of Quebec; and then comes glittering rank on rank of 
the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, the custodians of a proud 
record, with Minden emblazoned on their standards. 
We catch glimpses of Earl Percy riding slowly up and 
down the line, and the expression on his Lordship's 
face is not the one we find in Mr. Stuart's painting, nor 
that familiar to guests at his dinner-table. Two field- 
pieces rumble on after the column, and the wagons 
with supplies and ammunition bring up the rear. The 
music dies away, the crowd disperses, and Earl Percy 
and his brigade have passed on to a hard day's work. 

The 19th was an anxious day in Boston. It was 
known in the forenoon at the Province House that the 
troops and the Minute Men had been in collision at 
Lexington, but Gage, lacking definite details, caused it 
to be given out that no lives had been lost. Later all 
sorts of wild rumors passed from mouth to mouth. It 
was repeatedly asserted in the afternoon that Earl Percy 
had been killed, and all through the day Beacon Hill 
was crowded by citizens and soldiers gazing westward for 
some sign of what was taking place. But from this airy 
height Boston looked down that day upon a land where 
all seemed peace, the fields and hills of Middlesex smil- 
ing in the sun, from the rippling current of the Charles 
to the hazy heights of Waltham. But toward sundown 
the situation became more clear, fires were burning 
in Menotomy, and to the eastward of the Colleges in 
Cambridge were drifting puffs of dust and smoke to tell 


34 Earl Percy's 

the story of hard marching and of carnage. Then as 
darkness fell the flickering of musketry was visible all 
along the base of Prospect Hill until it became clear 
that the troops were following the road into Charles- 
town. Late in the evening it was known in Boston that 
Percy was in the town across the ferry, and those 
stationed along the north water front could see the 
Somerset lowering her boats for service. All through 
the night the sailors rowed to and fro, bringing to town 
the wounded men who had fallen in that long heart- 
rending march from Concord Bridge. Earl Percy was 
doubtless at the Province House before morning, to 
report upon his day's work. We can fancy the agitation 
of the gentle-hearted governor when his elegant brig- 
adier confronted him, dirt-covered and powder-black- 
ened, his voice gone, and with that rent in his dusty 
coat where the peasant's bullet had almost robbed a 
dukedom of its heir. 

The events of the 1 9th of April wrought a change 
in the whole current of life in Boston. War had begun, 
and all New England in armed revolt was encamped 
about the town. Sympathizers with the popular cause 
passed out into the rebel camps, while the Loyalists, 
helpless in the face of the popular uprising, fled to Bos- 
ton to dwell within the protection of the troops. These 
movements of the people were fostered by the British 
and by the Provincial authorities, so that before the 
close of the month well-known faces were missed and 


Dinner-Table 35 

strange faces had appeared in Boston. The presence 
of the wounded had a marked effect upon the temper of 
the people. The care of nearly two hundred stricken 
men kept the army surgeons well employed, while the 
prevalence of crutches and bandages upon the streets 
brought home to all the realities of grim-visaged war. 

It had fallen to Captain Harris to cover the retreat 
with his company of Percy's regiment, and the Earl told 
how he met him under fire, bareheaded on the dusty 
road, carrying his grenadier hat full of water for the 
comfort of the wounded. Harris had seen Lieutenant 
Baker and more than half of his tall fellows shot down 
by invisible marksmen, and he had lost all sense of kin- 
ship with the stealthy, straight-shooting people of the 
province. " I trust the Americans may be brought to 
a sense of their duty," he stormed. " One good drub- 
bing, which I long to give them by way of retaliation, 
might have a good effect toward it." 

There was gloom at Captain Evelyn's lodgings, for 
Joe Knight, the only officer killed, was a lieutenant in 
the King's Own, while "little Gould," shot through 
the leg, had been taken prisoner in Menotomy as he 
was hobbling home ahead of the column. " He*was the 
most amiable and worthy man in the world," sobbed 
Evelyn over the loss of poor Knight, while Boscawen's 
grief was pathetic to witness. But Joe Knight, though 
cut off on the threshold of his career, was honored in 
his friendships and in dying as a good soldier should. He 



Earl Percy's 

did not live to attain distinction in his profession, but 
his gentle character was to be enshrined in that series 
of loving letters which the Honorable Mrs. Boscawen 
addressed to Mrs. Delaney. The fate of Knight im- 
pressed Evelyn with the risks to which his young charge 
was exposed. "I wish," he wrote to his father, " they 
would purchase a lieutenancy for him at home, for I am 
very uneasy lest anything befall him while he is with 

But there was no depression in the army over the 
affair of April 19. The officers declared that this was 
far different from campaigning in Germany, and that 
discipline and high training were useless in a contest 
where not above ten of the enemy could be seen in a 
body, and where all gave their fire from behind trees 
and walls "and then reloaded on their bellies." Percy 
became at once the darling of the army. All through 
the march from Lexington to Charlestown Common 
he had his men in good control, and whenever oppor- 
tunity offered to strike a blow he was quick to see and 
improve it. He left the marks of his heavy hand all 
along the roads of Menotomy and Cambridge, and it 
was cool design and not uncontrolled savagery that filled 
the evening air with the smoke of flaming dwellings. 
When Percy first saw Smith's demoralized infantry in 
Lexington, exhausted, powderless, and cumbered with 
their wounded, he realized that this was war and deter- 
mined to play a strong part in it. For long years after, 


Dinner-Table 37 

his name was abhorred by the Provincials, who had 
hovered on his flanks and who had suffered at his hands 
that April afternoon. The officers of the line, the com- 
mander in chief in Boston, the King in London, all 
combined in praising " the masterly officership " that 
had brought off the troops "with so little loss through 
a severe and incessant fire for twenty miles," and the 
Duke of Northumberland received, from Ministers 
who loved him not, congratulations upon the conduct 
of his son. 

And Percy himself, who had despised his foes, de- 
scribed the day in these words : " During the whole 
affair the Rebels attacked us in a very scattered, irregu- 
lar manner, but with perseverance and resolution, nor 
did they ever dare to form into any regular body. In- 
deed, they knew too well what was proper, to do so. 
Whoever looks upon them as an irregular mob will find 
himself much mistaken. They have men amongst them 
who know very well what they are about, having been 
employed as Rangers against the Indians and Cana- 
dians, and this country, being much cov' d with wood 
and hilly, is very advantageous for their method of fight- 
ing. Nor are several of their men void of a spirit of en- 
thusiasm, as we experienced yesterday, for many of them 
concealed themselves in houses and advanced within i o 
yards to fire at me and other officers tho' they were mor- 
ally certain of being put to death themselves in an in- 
stant. . . . For my part, I never believed, I confess, that 



Earl Percy's 

they w d have attacked the King's troops, or have had the 
perseverance I found in them yesterday." In this frank 
fashion did Earl Percy acknowledge his error and pay 
his tribute to the courage of the men of Massachusetts. 
Though Colonel Smith of the ioth and Barnard of 
the Fusiliers were both wounded in the April fighting, 
it was Major Pitcairn who retained the most disagree- 
able memories of the day. His story of that morning 
was always told with simple, straightforward frankness. 
He saw the militia drawn up under arms on the village 
green, and riding up, ordered them to disperse, and 
damned them as they deserved for a set of disloyal vil- 
lains. They did not obey on the moment, and he turned 
about to order his troops to surround and disarm them. 
Then came two or three scattered shots, which he did 
not see, but believed to have been fired by the militia, 26 
followed by a sudden and promiscuous fusillade from 
a part of his own men. Though he struck his sword 
downwards with all earnestness as the signal to forbear 
or cease firing, the damage was done in an instant. This 
in effect was Pitcairn's story, and though he rested un- 
der no criticism from the General, he did not regard it 
as a creditable tale. He could laugh over the loss of his 
horse and his pistols ; the slaying of a few peasants did 
not disturb him, for the rascals had tempted fate by fac- 
ing the King's troops in arms. But the old warrior was 
pained that a detachment serving under him should get 
out of hand and fire without orders. He had only one 


Dinner-Table 39 

comfort in his trial, — the offenders were merely light 
infantry and not the marines. 

It is likely that the damage inflicted upon the regi- 
ments, the shifting of the population, and the work of 
fortifying the town checked for a time all social life in 
the garrison. But the incoming of the Loyalist families 
was an agreeable event to the officers, and we are told 
that Lady Frankland was an object of especial interest 
when she came down from Hopkinton to open her great 
mansion at the North End. On May 25 there arrived 
the Cerberus frigate with the three major-generals 
aboard, — Howe, Clinton, and Burgoyne, — and at 
the same time that she cast anchor in the harbor, the 
transports came in with three regiments of foot and 
Preston's Light Dragoons. With these reinforcements 
the military population of the town exceeded the civil 
element, and as the most ardent rebels had crossed the 
Charles, Boston became in effect a loyal community. 
By the last of May the morale of the garrison was 
higher than at any time since Percy's arrival, and con- 
fidence was widespread both among the soldiery and 
the Tory refugees that a decisive movement was immin- 
ent that would crush out rebellion in the Province and 
bring all loyal souls in Boston to their own again. 

With the arrival of the Cerberus the receptions and 
dinners at the Province House took on more imposing 
state, and the great rooms of the Governor's mansion 
were thronged with the bravest and the fairest that 


40 Earl Percy's 

the town could boast. We can fancy, too, that, though 
Percy's army rank seemed less imposing since the land- 
ing of the major-generals, his house was not neglected, 
and that day by day he did the honors of his table. One is 
tempted to glance again into the old dining-room and 
mark the new faces that gather there, to hear Colonel 
Saltonstall and Mr. Vassall 27 lament the inconveniences 
of the time, to hear Clinton tell his memories of the 
fighting Prince of Brunswick, and listen to Burgoyne's 
graceful and racy recital of the gossip that is amusing 
high life in London. But it is not necessary to call at 
Earl Percy's to find Burgoyne. You may see him on the 
Mall, where he saunters with handsome Tory ladies ; 
at the bookshops on Cornhill, where he handles the 
volumes with .loving hands and chats charmingly of 
their contents ; or you may meet him coming down the 
steps of the Province House, after a conference with His 
Excellency, a queer smile on his face as he thinks how 
absurd it is that His Majesty's army in Boston should 
be commanded by a timid "old woman." 28 

The night of the 16th of June was quiet, so quiet 
that officers on duty remarked it, and the " All 's well " 
from the men-of-war at anchor in the harbor was 
plainly audible in the town. With the first flush of 
dawn came the boom of a cannon, then another, fol- 
lowed by the roll and roar of great guns bombarding. 
The town was alarmed by this harsh awakening, and 
there was a rush of soldiers and citizens to Copp's and 


Dinner-Table 41 

Beacon hills, from which the royal vessels in the Charles 
were descried enshrouded in the smoke of their own 

At first it was not clear what caused the commotion 
in the fleet, but soon practiced eyes discovered beyond 
the river a low redoubt on the crest of Breed's Hill, 
whose grassy slopes formed a pleasant background for 
the clustering roofs of Charlestown. Officers rubbed 
their eyes in amazement. There was no room for doubt 
that during the few short hours of darkness the daring 
Provincials had done a work that was meant as a chal- 
lenge to the troops in Boston. 

There was a hurried conference of the generals at the 
Province House, as a result of which a force of two 
thousand men was assigned to Howe with orders to 
clear the hill, while Earl Percy was sent to Roxbury 
Neck to maintain a bombardment, and prevent any 
hostile move from that quarter. Clinton had urged a 
landing in the rear of the redoubt, with a view of cutting 
ofFthe retreat of the Provincials and capturing the whole 
body, but others clamored for an attack in front. On 
the 19th of April the troops had complained that they 
could not see their foes ; now they had them in plain 
sight and would beat them handsomely in the face of 
the whole country. The rascals would not stand to re- 
ceive the bayonet, and losses would be trifling. Even 
Gage was carried away by the enthusiasm of his advis- 
ers. The excitement in Boston was intense. Groups 


42 Earl Percy's 

gathered at corners discussed in whispers the intentions 
of the rebels, and as the roar of the bombardment went 
echoing through the streets their faces blanched with 
terror. The Province House was early thronged with 
officers who sought a place in the attacking column. 
Orderlies galloped through the streets on important 
errands, and from all parts of the town came the rolling 
of drums and the alarms of the bugle. Before noon the 
regiments were on the march and the music of the bands 
and the screaming of the fifes was heard on every hand. 
The 43d is passing down Hanover Street on its way 
to the North Battery, and Colonel Gunning makes a 
handsome figure at its head. But the bands are playing 
in King Street, and as we hurry in that direction we can 
see through narrow lanes the glitter of moving steel. 
The scarlet ranks sweep down the famous street in an 
unceasing stream, — grenadiers, light infantry, the 3 8th, 
and Earl Percy's 5th. We see Abercrombie leading the 
grenadiers, and not far behind is Captain Harris, whose 
chance to thrash the rebels is close at hand. Lord Raw- 
don's face is turned away as he scans the alignment of 
his men, and then comes Evelyn, erect and stern, his 
mind filled with misgivings for the lad who is marching 
gayly at his heels. Now the colors of the 38 th are toss- 
ing above the glare of bayonets, and in a moment we 
see Harry Fox go by, with the easy swing of a man of 
lighter build, cursing inwardly the duty upon which he 
is bound, but with the same imperturbable expression 


Dinner-Table 43 

on his face that he wore at Earl Percy's dinner-table. 
As the column pours on to the Long Wharf, the boats 
and barges are ready and the work of embarkation is 
beautifully carried out. The naval officer in charge will 
win promotion for this day's work, and as he moves 
about the wharf we recognize the face of Collingwood. 

Burgoyne was not to have a share in the day's fight- 
ing. His literary and not his military qualities were to 
be asserted on this occasion, and his famous letter to 
Lord Stanley will remain for all time the most vivid 
pen-picture of the Battle of Bunker Hill. 

We shall find him with Clinton on Copp's Hill 
where the Royal Artillerymen are busy with their guns. 
High above them, in the tower of Christ Church, Gage 
is looking down upon the battlefield and watching Pres- 
cott of Pepperell as he saunters along the distant ram- 
part. The day is beautiful but intensely warm ; the roofs 
and spires of Boston are black with excited humanity. 
Across the river the highlands of Middlesex are sprink- 
led with onlookers, while in strange contrast to all this 
eager life the village of Charlesto wn lies sleeping in the 
sun, silent and deserted. 

The advance is about to commence. The ships of war 
are concentrating their fire upon the redoubt, and the 
gunners on Copp's Hill toil with renewed energy at 
their heated pieces. The brilliant lines of the soldiery 
move up the slope with a precision and proud bearing 
that awes the spectators and draws forth the remark 


44 Earl Percy's 

from the critical Burgoyne that " Howe's disposition 
is exceedingly soldierlike." Not a sign of life is visible 
in Charlestown or about the redoubt. The troops ad- 
vance steadily, though impeded, it is clear, by the bad 
ground and by the stout fences that cross the slope. As 
the leading platoons deliver their fire with parade ac- 
curacy the batteries on sea and land cease their roaring, 
and like the rolling back of a curtain the billowy clouds 
of powder-smoke drifting seaward open up the whole 
battlefield to the view of those in Boston. The troops 
seem to have almost reached the redoubt ; Burgoyne 
fears that the peasants have already withdrawn, when 
there is a sudden glancing of flame, a crash, and the Pro- 
vincial works are ablaze from end to end with musketry. 
Dense smoke envelops the crest of the hill and com- 
pletely screens the combatants from view. For ten min- 
utes the awful roll and rattle continues, scarlet groups 
appear wavering here and there along the lower edge 
of the seething cloud, and then the thinned and broken 
lines of the soldiery come fully into view, swaying back- 
ward down the slope in orderly but unmistakable re- 

The officers on Copp's Hill are stung with chagrin 
and shame. The whole country has witnessed the re- 
pulse of the troops. But it is clear that Howe is going 
up again, and all along the lines the swords of the offi- 
cers can be seen flashing in the sunlight as they rally 
and re-form the broken battalions. It is now that Howe 


Dinner-Table 45 

gives the order for the burning of Charlestown. As the 
battery on Copp's Hill sends its bombs into the doomed 
town a boat-load of sailors is seen pulling out from the 
Somerset, to make sure of the work. In a few moments 
Charlestown begins to burn. The fire leaps up in a dozen 
places and spreads rapidly; the church spire sends a thin 
column of yellow smoke skyward and then puffs out into 
blinding flames. In the shadow of the smokewhich now 
drifts in dense volumes over the field of death, and sup- 
ported by the renewed cannonading from the ships, the 
royal troops again move forward to the assault. Again 
there is the steady advance, though now the way is 
sadly cumbered with the fallen, and again the troops 
deliver their beautiful but useless volleys. As the din of 
the bombardment dies away there comes a hush so deep 
that the roar of the flames and the crash of falling roofs 
in Charlestown are distinctly heard in Boston. Then 
again the redoubt breaks into awful life and the scarlet 
columns seem to shrink and wither before the fiery 
blast. In a short half-hour from Howe's second order 
to advance, the wreck of his detachment has been 
thrown back down the hill almost to the beach. 

There were few among the spectators on either side 
the river who after this awful slaughter did not re- 
gard the battle as over, for the day at least. The scene 
upon the beach beggared description. Fully one third 
of the attacking force had fallen. Regiments were re- 
duced to battalions, and companies had been literally 


4 6 

Earl Percy's 

annihilated. Major Small with a detachment of marines 
now put off from Boston, and Clinton, unable longer to 
behold the discomfiture of the soldiery, threw himself 
into the boat as a volunteer. There was no appeal from 
Howe for fresh regiments, there was no move on the 
part of Gage to relieve the broken battalions that had 
twice scaled those fatal heights. 

There were scores among the officers who had crossed 
the river with Howe who had called the Provincials 
cowards. The survivors of those two attacks were never 
to repeat the charge. And these gentlemen who so de- 
spised their foe had been loud in proclaiming the invin- 
cibility of the British arms. They at least were no vain 
braggarts; they had indulged in no empty boasting. 
Ardent patriots, thrilling with the brave work of their 
countrymen behind that low redoubt, could scarcely 
believe their senses, they could scarce withhold their 
admiration, when it became clear that the indomitable 
infantry which Howe commanded was still unbeaten. 
As the artillery was pushed forward through the swampy 
ground to rake the redoubt in flank, the soldiers, throw- 
ing aside knapsacks, coats, and all useless weight, were 
again re-forming their now pitifully thin lines. All the 
world knows the rest of that day's work. How Howe, 
abandoning all parade formations, used the strength that 
was left him as it should have been used against a pow- 
erful and determined foe; how the Provincial powder 
ran low, and how at last that fierce torrent of British 


Dinner-Table 47 

steel burst into the redoubt and wrought awful venge- 
ance upon brave and almost defenseless men who would 
not beg for quarter. "The day ended with glory," said 
Burgoyne, " and the success was most important, con- 
sidering the ascendency it gave the regular troops; but 
the loss was uncommon in officers for the numbers en- 

But in addressing the noble lord in England, Bur- 
goyne hardly did justice to the awful carnage which the 
army had sustained. "We were exulting in seeing the 
flight of our enemies,' ' writes an ardent Tory of the town, 
"but in an hour or two we had occasion to mourn and 
lament. Dear was the purchase of our safety. In the 
evening the streets were rilled with the wounded and 
the dying; the sight of which, with the lamentations 
of the women and children over their husbands and 
fathers, pierced one to the soul. We were now every 
moment hearing of some officer, or other of our friends 
and acquaintance, who had fallen in our defense, and in 
supporting the honor of our country." In another ac- 
count we read, " The Saturday night and Sabbath were 
taken up in carrying over the dead and wounded ; and 
all the wood-carts in town, it is said, were employed, 
chaises and coaches for the officers." 

Percy coming down from Roxbury Neck in the early 
evening may well have been shocked at these evidences 
of the desperate righting of the day. He hears that Pit- 
cairn has been killed and that Abercrombie, mortally 



Earl Percy's 

wounded, had made a last appeal to his men to treat old 
Putnam kindly if they took him. Major Small declares 
that he owes his own life to Putnam, who " rushed 
forward and struck up the muzzles of guns that were 
aimed at him." Percy is doubtless proud to learn that 
"his regiment suffered the most and behaved the best," 
and is pleased to hear from Burgoyne that Lord Raw- 
don has " behaved to a charm," and has established his 
name for life. 29 But when they tell him that Harris is 
dangerously wounded, and that there were only eight 
men of his company left to follow Lord Rawdoninto the 
redoubt, the Earl's pride and pleasure are tempered by 
grief. Down at the marine barracks in the North End 
strong men are weeping like children for Pitcairn. 
They tell how he was bleeding from two wounds, when 
he placed himself in front of the battalion for the third 
attack, and how as he pointed to the enemy he called 
out for the last time, " Now for the glory of the ma- 
rines ! " He was struck by four bullets as he entered the 
redoubt, and they believe at the barracks that he died 
as he had always wished to die, and that his closing eyes 
must have beheld his marines victorious. "We have 
lost a father." 30 That is the wail of Pitcairn's bereaved 

No one could complain of Colonel Gunning's con- 
duct at Bunker Hill, and he came out unscathed, to be 
warmly commended by the General. That night, back 
in the Boston camp, Evelyn bethought himself of the 


Dinner-Table 49 

dangers that beset us in this troubled life ; he thought 
too of Peggie Wright, and then and there drew up his 
modest will. Harry Fox bore himself in every emerg- 
ency as became an officer of the 38th, and as he pored 
over the gaps in his company roll, he must have thought 
of what a shameful waste it was to send His Majesty's 
troops against men of British blood. 3 ' 

Percy was fortunate in having none of his regimental 
officers slain. There were wounds in plenty, and the life 
of Harris was saved by trepanning. Years after he left 
the Boston hospital, he would laughingly tell how the 
doctors had allowed him to behold his own brains in 
a mirror. 

For weeks the town was a hospital, and scores of 
soldiers who succumbed to their wounds were buried 
in trenches on the Common. "Many of the wounded 
are daily dying," writes an army surgeon at this time, 
"and many must have both legs amputated. The Pro- 
vincials either exhausted their ball, or they were deter- 
mined that every wound should prove mortal. Their 
muskets were charged with old nails and angular pieces 
of iron." We read of how Lady Frankland gave up 
her mansion for a hospital and how Clinton abandoned 
the Hancock House that it might be put to the same 
use. In the messrooms of the garrison, Minden lost its 
standing as a bloody battle. Minden was dull work to 
Bunker Hill, so the talk ran, and the far-famed French 
grenadier a really harmless animal when compared to 


50 Earl Percy's 

the American peasant with a wall in front of him and 
powder and ball in his pouch. 

We have only meagre records of what went on in 
^Boston between July, 1775, when Washington arrived 
in Cambridge, and March, 1776, when he placed his 
heavy guns in position on Dorchester Heights. We 
know that the winter was not a mild one, and that low 
temperatures were rendered more fearful by the lack of 
fuel and by the rough gales that howled across the Com- 
mon and through the narrow streets. Food was scarce, 
and the occasional skirmishes between outposts not 
being frequent nor warm enough to keep the troops in 
heart, it was a hard task to restrain them from vandal- 
ism and excess. All lived in the hope of that long de- 
ferred campaign which was to put everything to rights. 

Burgoyne was a conspicuous figure in the town until 
the day of his departure. When the Old South Meet- 
ing House was converted into a riding-school for the 
17th Light Dragoons he was frequently an object of 
interest to the officers and ladies who thronged the gal- 
lery. 32 Almost any day he might be seen strolling about 
the ring watching with critical eye the riding of the 
men and nodding approvingly as his nephew the Honor- 
able Tom Stanley leaped his horse over the barriers. 
It was Burgoyne's fate in Boston to be more active with 
his pen than with his sword. He was an ardent soldier, 
a strict disciplinarian, but he found time to waste ink 
in a fruitless controversy with Charles Lee, and these 


Dinner-Table 5 1 

letters, with the pompous proclamations he wrote for 
Gage, have proved the enduring part of his literary 
labors. His wit as a playwright and his efficiency as 
a stage-manager were his best offerings to the royal 
cause in Boston. He wrote the prologue for a perform- 
ance of "Zarah" at Faneuil Hall, and Lord Rawdon 
spoke the lines. We can fancy that the young man per- 
formed this task with far less confidence than he played 
his part at Bunker Hill. "The theatre flourishes sur- 
prisingly and has brought out some capital performers," 
writes George Evelyn, who, having succeeded in get- 
ting Boscawen sent home on recruiting duty, breathed 
free again. Burgoyne's piece of "The Blockade of Bos- 
ton " was not acted until after the sailing of the accom- 
plished author, and the first performance in Faneuil 
Hall was broken up by the alarm of a Yankee attack. 
Officers were ordered to their posts, and we read of 
the dilemma of certain fair Tories who made their way 
home without escort, to the great delight of their rebel 

We see little of Earl Percy during these days, but we 
can imagine that because of the lack of tempting viands 
dinner-giving was going out of fashion in Boston. Sir 
William Howe managed to maintain a dignified and 
charming hospitality at the Province House, and 
within its walls anxious Tories were wont to find new 
courage, and dance dull care away to the bewitching 
music of the Fusiliers' band. But when the raw March 


52 Earl Percy's 

air began to throb to the roar of the Continental can- 
non, a spirit of gloom crept over the town, and made its 
way at last into the innermost recesses of the Governor's 
mansion and chilled the heart in the Governor's breast. 
On the morning of March 5, 1776, the British offi- 
cers were gazing in wonder upon Dorchester Heights 
as nine months before they had looked across the Charles 
upon Breed's Hill. Washington had thrown up redoubts 
on the high land during the night, and the Admiral at 
once notified Howe that his anchorage was no longer 
tenable. Then Percy comes into prominence for the 
last time in Boston. He is ordered to rendezvous at the 
Castle with a force of three thousand men, and to cross 
to the mainland in the morning to attack the Contin- 
ental works. The expedition bivouacked at the Castle 
that night, but the day of the 6th was ushered in by a 
driving storm, and the sea ran so high that it was found 
impossible to get the troops off. All through the stormy 
day Howe was pondering the lessons of Bunker Hill, 
and his memory was so haunted by the carnage wrought 
by the American farmers, that before the storm had 
subsided, he countermanded Percy's orders and began 
to prepare for evacuating the town. After sundown on 
March 1 6, the British troops went aboard the trans- 
ports, and all night long the streets echoed to their 
departing tramp. On the 1 7th the fleet dropped down 
to Nantasket Roads, and there lay for ten days before 
weighing anchor for Halifax. As Percy paced the deck 


Dinner-Table 53 

within sight of the hills of Boston, the windows of his 
house on Winter Street were looking out upon glad 
scenes, upon the street thronging with happy country 
people and townsfolk returning, upon the Common 
where detachments of the liberating army, ill drilled and 
in motley garb, were going on duty. Putnam and Greene 
come down the street, so does Mr. Knox, the book- 
seller, in his artillery regimentals, and John Stark also, 
with Prescott of Pepperell. But the old house echoes 
to the cheering of hundreds when a greater than these 
approaches, a far nobler man indeed than any of the 
distinguished company who have sat down with Earl 
Percy at his table here in Boston. His Excellency, the 
Commander-in-Chief, rides a great charger, he wears 
the blue and buff, and he bows gravely to right and left 
upon the joyous crowds that line his way. 

54 Earl Percy's 

[ in 3 

LET us glance in closing at what the future had 
in store for those gallant servants of King 
George whom we have met at Earl Percy's 
table. As we look into the scattering family correspond- 
ence that has been preserved, it is pleasant to see how 
fully Roger Sheaffe repaid the benevolence of his noble 
patron. In 1778 an ensign in the 5th Foot, in 181 3 he 
was a major-general commanding against the United 
States in Canada. This service was sorely against his 
will, and he was ever devoted to his mother and to his 
friends and kindred in Boston. He revisited the town in 
1788 and again in 1792, when he was clearly the idol 
of the family circle. He married Margaret Coffin, a 
cousin to the admiral of that name, and it was a note 
from the Duke of Northumberland 33 addressed to 
" Lady Sheaffe," that first informed this excellent 
woman that her husband had been created a baronet of 
England. The career of Roger Sheaffe was marked at 
times by hardship and disappointment, but through it 
all the Duke appears and reappears in his role of a fairy 
godfather. We catch frequent glimpses of Sir Roger 


Dinner-Table 55 

during the early half of the nineteenth century, and in 
the days of the third Duke of Northumberland we find 
him always a welcome guest at Alnwick. He was ap- 
parently beloved and favored by the sons of the noble 
friend whom he first knew at his mother's house in 
Boston as Hugh, Earl Percy. 

With the departure of the British from Boston, the 
light went out of the life of Dr. Byles. Rejected by 
his 1776, he at length stood trial in the courts 
on the grave charge of honoring the King. He was 
found guilty and sentenced to banishment, but the pen- 
alty was never enforced. The old man lived on in Bos- 
ton, detested by many, until in 1788 he died at the ripe 
age of eighty-two years. His Tory principles lived on 
in his daughters, and in the old house, surrounded by 
the furniture and mementos of the old days, they en- 
tertained in the old-fashioned way, and prayed for the 
restoration of royal authority. Early in the nineteenth 
century a portion of their house was removed to make 
way for public improvements, and the shock brought 
one of these sisters to her grave. The survivor lived to 
congratulate William IV upon his accession to the throne 
and to subscribe herself his loyal and obedient subject. 
To the end she thought and babbled of the days of good 
King George, of the wrongs suffered by her father, of 
walks on the Mall with Sir William Howe, of courtesies 
extended by Earl Percy, and of the serenades by his 
regimental band. 



Earl Percy's 

Lord Rawdon sailed away to a brilliant career on 
southern battlefields. He was to justify the promise of 
Bunker Hill, and to live in history as one of the few 
capable officers who fought with Cornwallis against 
Gates and Greene. In later years as Lord Moira, and 
later still as Marquis of Hastings, he governed England's 
far Indian Empire, and won laurels as one of the great 
administrators of his day. 

In 1793, Captain Harris of the 5th Foot has become 
Lord Harris of Seringapatam, having in conjunction 
with Colonel Arthur Wellesley overthrown the redoubt- 
able Tippoo Sahib. Which proved that the brains the 
Provincial bullet so narrowly missed at Bunker Hill 
were well worth preserving. 

Ensign Bosca wen in 1777 was riding as captain in the 
Royal Irish Dragoons, and ten years later he showed 
tact and courage in pacifying the riotous miners at 
Truro. He never attained great distinction, but he ful- 
filled the hopes of his doting mother, and became the 
discreet and amiable Viscount Falmouth. 

As for Glanville Evelyn, there was but a short span 
of life left for him when he sailed from Boston with 
Clinton. The longed-for promotion never came, and 
before the close of the year 1776 he died at the head 
of his company in an obscure skirmish outside New 
York. General Howe informed the Ministry that the 
King had lost a " gallant officer ' ' in Captain Evelyn, and 
Peggie Wright received by virtue of his last will and 


Dinner-Table 57 

testament the few trinkets and odds and ends which 
were all his long years of faithful service had brought 

Lieutenant Gould, cured of the hurt received at Lex- 
ington, was exchanged and sent home in the summer 
of 1775. His convalescence was so rapid and so com- 
plete that within a few weeks after his arrival in Eng- 
land he was able to elope with the daughter of a peer. 
Mrs. Boscawen in horror reminded Mrs. Delaney that 
this young desperado had been a friend and comrade 
of her dear boy in the King's Own. 34 In 1777 Gould 
comes again into notice as a witness at the trial of the 
Reverend John Home in London, and we are told that 
Earl Percy was an interested spectator in the court- 
room. 35 To the chagrin of the King and his Ministers, 
Gould testified as an eye-witness that the royal troops 
were the aggressors on Lexington Common. In 1792 
we are surprised to find him in possession of the office 
once held by the most implacable enemy of Robin 
Hood. We must assume that as " Sheriff of Notting- 
ham," Gould turned his back upon the follies of his 
early life and became not only a sober citizen, but a 
terror to all evil-doers within his jurisdiction. 

On the morning of October 21, 1805, Lord Nelson 
is bringing his fleet into action against the French. As 
the mighty mass of the Royal Sovereign drives grandly 
into the opposing line, Nelson, moved with enthusiasm 
at the sight, exclaims to an officer at his side, " See how 



Earl Percy's 

that noble fellow Collingwood takes his ship into ac- 
tion. How I envy him ! " And so the modest lieutenant 
of the Somerset in 1775 lived to have the honor of 
being second in command to Nelson on the glorious 
day of Trafalgar. 

In the spring of 1 779 we find " dear Harry Fox," as 
Lady Sarah Lennox calls him, back at the Duke of 
Richmond's seat in Sussex. He reappears among his 
kinsfolk as Lieutenant-Colonel Fox of the 38th. His 
campaigning has not undone him, for " he is a good 
portly figure," and while "he breathes short like poor 
Ste, which vexes one for fear of its being from the same 
cause of inward fat," he is active and stirring, and a 
strong walker. To Lady Sarah, "his looks, his man- 
ner, are all delightfull ; he has the more true good mili- 
tary air, the most noble ways." He talks of his service 
with a modesty and propriety that are charming. He 
still laughs at the folly of supposing that America can 
be conquered. " He says the Americans never plunder 
without leave, he don't say so of the English." He longs 
to pursue all sorts of campaigning save that against the 
Americans, which he has no heart for. And there is 
a general's commission and a fond wife awaiting Colonel 
Fox in the not distant future, and Lord Holland's " only 
good son " is destined to round out an honorable and 
useful life. 

As for Gunning, that handsome soldier, with his dis- 
tinguished connections and his hallucinations regarding 


Dinner-Table 59 

Charlemagne, there is a sad downfall awaiting him. As 
a general resting from war's alarms he is to be undone 
by a vulgar wife and an ill-bred daughter who crave an 
alliance with the great house of Marlborough. It is a 
strange story, and the wild campaign of those awful 
women cheered Selwyn's closing days and enlivened 
for weeks the letters of Horace Walpole. Poor Gun- 
ning, who, cool and collected, had withstood the iron 
hail of Bunker Hill, succumbed to this blow at his van- 
ity. 36 He cast his family from him, and plunged into 
dissipation and debt. Then, heedless of his high social 
connections, unmindful even of Charlemagne, he ran 
away with the wife of an army tailor. He figured dis- 
reputably in a divorce suit, wrote for publication an 
"Apology" for his life, and died at last on the shores 
of the Bay of Naples. Years after his death a book was 
published by his erring daughter, and in inscribing it 
to the Princess Charlotte she described herself as "the 
daughter of the late Lieutenant-General Gunning and 
the niece of the late Duchess of Argyll and the Count- 
ess of Coventry." So by the hand of the daughter who 
had shamed him, his name was linked on a printed 
page with that of his famous sisters, without whom he 
would hardly have risen in the fashionable world and 
contributed to one of the rarest of its scandals. 

As for the noble Percy, he was to serve valiantly in 
America for some months before returning to London 
to lay before his sovereign his opinion of Sir William 


60 Earl Percy's Dinner-Table 

Howe. 37 With his arrival home his days of active sol- 
diering were finished, but his interest in military mat- 
ters remained always keen. The 5th Regiment of Foot 
became the Northumberland Fusiliers in compliment to 
him, and the efficiency of the county militia long bore 
witness to his fostering care. In 1778 the Earl obtained 
a divorce from that wanton daughter of Lord Bute. 38 
He had said to Bishop Percy that matrimony should 
never tempt him again until he should find another Lady 
Algernon. 39 And he kept his word, for though he mar- 
ried within a few months of his divorce, it was to Lady 
Algernon's younger sister, who was to grace her high 
station both as Countess Percy and as Duchess of North- 
umberland. The "soldier duke" grew old in a fine 
aristocratic way, and he became gouty and choleric of 
temper, as befitted an English peer. He was courted by 
the Whig leaders at Westminster and was somewhat 
spoiled by these attentions. He gave his counsel with a 
grand air and was quick to take offense. He quarreled at 
last with Charles James Fox, and he is credited with 
administering a rebuff to no less a person than the Prince 
of Wales. 40 In his declining years he must have often 
dwelt upon those fateful hours when he brought the 
army from Lexington to Charlestown Common, and 
he may well have given a wistful thought to those far- 
away days when his table was laid with twelve covers 
in the house at the head of Winter Street. 



C i ] 

HUGH, Earl Percy, was born August 14, 1 742, the son of Sir 
Hugh and Lady Elizabeth Smithson. Lady Betty was the 
daughter of Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset, whose 
mother was Lady Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of Joscelyne 
Percy, nth Earl of Northumberland. In honor of his maternal de- 
scent, Algernon Seymour was created, in 1 749, Baron Warkworth of 
Warkworth and Earl of Northumberland. In 1750, upon the death of 
his father-in-law, Sir Hugh became Earl of Northumberland and took 
the name of Percy. In 1766 he was created Duke of Northumberland. 
James Smithson, founder of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, 
was a natural son of Sir Hugh, and so a half-brother of Earl Percy. 

I 2 D 

See Letters of Hugh Earl Percy, edited by Charles Knowles Bolton, 
Boston, 1902. 

C 3 3 

Earl Percy and the Selectmen. "The Selectmen took cognizance 
of the affair, (the riot at Miss Erskines) and chose a committee of 
four from their number to wait upon Earl Piercy, (who commands 
in ye Governor's absence) and acquaint him with it, who treated them 
very politely (and made many apologies that his marque would not afford 
better accommodations for them) and express'd himself much displeas'd 
with their (ye officers) conduct, and told 'em he would take effectual 
means to prevent the like behaviour in future, and further assur'd them, 


6 4 


that if they chose to enter a prosecution in civil law, he would see that 
ev'ry of the culprits were deliver'd up." — Letters of 'John Andrews, 
Mass. Hist. Soc. Pro'c, 1864-5, p. 334. 

[ 4 3 

" We expected to have been in barracks by this time, but the sons of 
liberty have done every thing in their power to prevent our accommo- 
dation. . . . For some regiments timber was provided, and the frames 
pretty well advanced, when they (the sons of liberty) thought proper to 
issue their orders to the carpenters to desist from working for the troops, 
upon pain of their displeasure. And one man who paid no attention to 
their order, was waylaid, seized by a mob, and carried off, and narrowly 
escaped hanging. . . . They have also forbid all merchants from furnish- 
ing their enemies with blankets, tools or materials of any kind, and have 
endeavoured to hinder our getting bricks to build chimneys in our bar- 
racks, and threatened to prohibit all provisions being brought to market; 
but the force of English gold no Yankey can withstand, were it offered 
to purchase his salvation." — Capt. W. G.Evelyn {King's Own Regiment) 
to Rev. Doctor Evelyn, Oct. 31, 1 774. 

" The Governor sent his compliments to the Selectmen and beg'd 
their attendance at six o'clock this evening, when he requested of them 
that they would not take any measures to prevent the workmen from 
going on with the barracks. They reply'd it was not in their power to 
influence the country, and it lay principally with them whether the work- 
men should proceed or not. . . . The Governor seem'd a great deal wor- 
ried about ye affair, and am told that in the course of the conversation 
he express'd himself thus — 'Good G — d! for G — d's sake, Gen- 
tlemen ! they have got two months work to do, and the Soldiers ought 
to be in barracks in one. Do consider, Gentlemen ! ' Thus the tables 
are in some measure turn'd." — Letters of John Andrews, p. 368. 

" The Carpenters employed in building Barracks, left Work last 
Week by the Advice of the Selectmen and Committee of Correspond- 
ence." — Mass. Gazette, October 3, 1774. 


Notes 65 

C 5 1 

The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Co. Mr. John Andrews 
had his opinion upon the efficiency of this corps. He witnessed the 
parade and says, " At about five o'clock they remarched into King 
street, where they perform'd their evolutions with the greatest propri- 
ety and exactness ; much more so, in my opinion, than any perform- 
ances of the troops since they 've been here." 

C 6 ] 

Warren's address in the Old South Meeting-House in 1775, on the 
anniversary of the Boston Massacre, contained the following words : 
"Even the sending of troops to put these acts in execution is not with- 
out advantages to us. The exactness and beauty of their discipline in- 
spire our youth with ardor in the pursuit of military knowledge. Charles 
the Invincible taught Peter the Great the art of war; the battle of Pul- 
towa convinced Charles of the proficiency Peter had made." 

c 7 1 

" Last Monday arrived in Town from Brooklyn Parish (Connecti- 
cut) Col. Israel Putnam with 125 Sheep as a Present to the industrious 
Poor here." — Mass. Gazette, Aug. 22/74. 

C 8 ] 

" You ask me what I say to my cousin Lee ? Why, I say it is the ele- 
ment for boiling water, and, as I dare say he persuades himself he is 
acting right, I don't pity him for falling in a cause he thinks glorious, 
as I fear he will e'er long. I shall be very sorry for him, for he has many 
good and great qualities to make up for his turbulent spirit and vanity." 
— Lady Sarah Bunbury to Lady Susan O'Brien, Aug. 21, 1775. Life and 
Letters of Lady Sarah Lennox, vol. 1, p. 244. 


66 Notes 

C 9 3 

Earl Percy's House on Winter Street. " His Excellency pro- 
ceeded to Earl Piercy's, who occupies a house at the head of Winter 
Street belonging to Inspector Williams." — Letters of John Andrews, 
P- 35°- 

Interesting information in regard to Earl Percy's residence in Boston 
is given in the following extract from a letter of C. W. Tuttle to Jona- 
than Mason which appeared in the Boston Advertiser of May 1,1880: — 

"Concerning my statement that Lord Percy, second duke of North- 
umberland, resided in a house owned by John Williams, standing on 
the northerly corner of Winter and Tremont streets in Boston, I have 
received several private communications within ten days. When I be- 
gan, about six years since, to collect historical facts relating to Lord 
Percy, there were several traditions current pointing to different houses 
as his official residence while in Boston. I took no heed of them, but 
went back to our local records of that period. There I found an authen- 
tic statement that on the last day of August, two months after his arrival 
in Boston, he was living in a house at the head of Winter Street owned 
by John Williams. During the interval between his arrival and this date 
I know not where he lodged, unless at Mrs. Sheafe's, as you remember 
to have heard from those who might well know the fact, for it was then 
only twenty-five years after the event. It is reasonable that his lordship 
should find temporary lodgings at her house while the one in Winter 
Street was being made ready for his occupation. I have seen no evi- 
dence originating in that period of his having lived in any other house 
while in Boston. Lord Percy was well received here, and it is likely that 
he was often a guest in many of the houses which have been claimed as 
his official residence. 

" This house, corner of Winter and Tremont streets, was not only 
beautiful for situation, but one of the best in that part of Boston. It had 
been owned and occupied for three quarters of a century by some of the 
most opulent merchants, and also by distinguished official persons. 




Captain Edward Wyllis was the proprietor from 1672 to his death, in 
1698. He, apparently, built the fine house that stood there at the time 
Lord Percy was an occupant. The successive owners were, — viz : 
Colonel Samuel Vetch, Captain Thomas Steel, Judge Adam Winthrop, 
Thomas Oxnard, John Williams from 1768 to 1780, Samuel Breck, 
and John Andrews." 

C 10 3 

Dr. Caner. Henry Caner, D.D., graduated at Yale in 1724 and in 1727 
went to England for ordination. His ministry at King's Chapel began 
in 1747 and continued until the Revolution drove him from his pulpit 
in 1776. In Sargent's Dealings with the Dead, the ghost of Martin Smith, 
once sexton of King's Chapel, is authority for the statement that in 
1776 Dr. Caner, "then an old man, carried off the church plate, 2800 
ounces of silver, the gift of three kings ; of which not a particle has 
ever been recovered ; and in lieu thereof, he left behind his fervent pray- 
ers, that God would ' change the hearts of the rebels' " . 

Brief accounts of Judge Joseph Lee of Cambridge and Isaac Royall 
of Medford will be found in Sabine's Loyalists of the American Revolu- 
tion. Judge Lee's Toryism was not of the aggressive type, and after the 
war he continued to dwell peaceably among his old neighbors in Cam- 
bridge. Royall went to England in 1776, and was proscribed and ban- 
ished in 1778. He died in England in 1781, his heart yearning for his 
fine old mansion in Medford. "No house in the Colony was more open 
to friends," says Sabine; "no gentleman gave better dinners, or drank 
costlier wines. As a master, he was kind to his slaves ; charitable to the 
poor, and friendly to everybody." 

Z ii ] 

Ensign Boscawen. " My son George is clear in his choice of arms, 
and I have, at his desire, paid £400 for an ensigncy in the 4th or Kings 
Own Regiment of Foot, lately sailed for America, where my young 
soldier purposes to join them in the course of this summer — full as 


68 Notes 

well stor'd with Greek and Latin as My Lord Chesterfield. O ! dear 
boy, I did not intend him for this business, but I submit, and hope time 
and his good behaviour will reconcile me to it better than now I am, or 
can be as yet." — Mrs. Boscawen to Mrs. Delaney, May 13, 1774. 

" By the ship w ch is just arriv'd with Mrs. Gage I have the satisfac- 
tion to hear that my soldier and his captain (Evelyn) were well on the 
20 th of last month." — Mrs. B. to Mrs. D., Sept. 20, 1775. 

C 12 1 

Dr. Byles. For a record of the witticisms of Dr. Byles, see Sargent's 
Dealings with the Dead, p. 367 et seq. 

C 13 1 

Dr. William Pitcairn. A delightful account of this eminent physi- 
cian is to be found in the Gold Headed Cane, London, 1828. " His bro- 
ther, a Major in the army, had been killed at the battle of Bunker's Hill. 
. . . He adopted his orphan children, and always acted towards them 
with the affection and solicitude of a parent." 

C 14 ] 

Dr. David Pitcairn, who was adopted and educated by Dr. William 
Pitcairn. See the Gold Headed Cane. 

t '5 1 

There is a pretty version of the story in the Rev. E. G. Porter's Ram- 
bles in Old Boston. Sabine's Loyalists of the American Revolution contains 
an account of both Roger and Susannah Sheaffe. 


Notes 69 

Hot Stuff. This song was the work of Edward Botwood, a sergeant 
of Grenadiers in the 47th Foot (Lascelles), who fell in Wolfe's attack 
upon the French intrenchments near Beaufort, July 31, 1759. It was 
a favorite with the British army throughout the Revolution, and was 
sung to the air " Lilies of France." 

Come each death-doing dog who dares venture his neck, 

Come, follow the hero that goes to Quebec; 

Jump aboard of the transports, and loose every sail, 

Pay your debts at the tavern by giving leg-bail; 

And ye that love fighting shall soon have enough: 

Wolfe commands us, my boys; we shall give them Hot Stuff. 

Up the River St. Lawrence our troops shall advance, 
To the Grenadier's March we will teach them to dance. 
Cape Breton we have taken, and next we will try 
At their capital to give them another black eye. 
Vaudreuil, 't is in vain you pretend to look gruff, — 
Those are coming who know how to give you Hot Stuff. 

With powder in his periwig, and snuff in his nose, 
Monsieur will run down our descent to oppose; 
And the Indians will come; but the light infantry 
Will soon oblige them to betake to a tree. 
From such rascals as these may we fear a rebuff? 
Advance, grenadiers, and let fly your Hot Stuff! 

When the forty-seventh regiment is dashing ashore, 
While bullets are whistling and cannons do roar, 
Says Montcalm: "Those are Shirley's, — I know the lapels." 
"You lie," says Ned Botwood, "we belong to Lascelles'! 
Tho' our cloathing is changed, yet we scorn a powder puff; 
So at you, ye b — s, here 's give you Hot Stuff." 


70 Notes 

C 17 3 

Hillsborough Paint. " Sometime last night they gave Scott a Hils- 
borough treat, and not content with disfiguring the outside of his shop, 
they by help of a ladder open'd his chamber window and emptied sev- 
eral buckets full into it. Should be glad for the honor of the town, that 
they would leave off" such beastly practices — as there are many much 
better ways of showing their resentment." — Letters of 'John Andrews, 

C 18 3 

The Addressers to Governor Hutchinson. The following serve 
to show the character of the communications which appeared in the 
Boston and Salem papers in 1774 : — 

Whereas I did suddenly and unadvisably sign an address to the late 
Governor Hutchinson, with some others (Justices of the Peace) of 
Middlesex, being in great Haste and not so well considering every Part 
thereof, nor the dangerous Consequences of said Address, am very sorry 
for it ; And as it hath offended my Christian Brethren and Neighbours, 
I do hereby desire their Forgiveness and a Restoration of their Friend- 
ship. Thomas Kidder. 

Billerica, July 13, 1774. 

To my worthy Town and Countrymen. 
Gentlemen : 

As I have given you great Offence by signing an Address to Gov- 
ernor Hutchinson (upon his leaving the Province) and as it always gives 
me Pain to affront or disoblige even a single Neighbour ; this has been 
much increased as the Public are so much concerned in it ; And had I 
conceived that the Generality of the People so much disliked an Ad- 
dress to Mr. Hutchinson, it should not have had my Name to it, as I 
always place the Friendship and Good-will of my Fellow Men in the 


Notes 71 

first Class of the World's Enjoyments. I am very sorry I ever signed 
it, and hope the Public will freely forgive, 


Your humble Servant, 

John White. 
Charlestown, Sept. 3, 1774. 

C 19 3 

The doings at Miss Erskine's are mentioned in the Andrews Letters, 
page 333. The episodes of Hancock's fence and the Providence 
coach are described in Moore's Diary of the American Revolution, vol. i, 
page 54. 

[ 20 3 

"The Sam Adams Regiments." When the news reached London of 
the Boston Massacre, and of the removal of the troops from the town 
as a result of the agitation headed by Samuel Adams, the 14th and 29th 
were derisively alluded to in Parliament as "the Sam Adams regi- 

C 21 1 

The ballad of Edwin and Angelina first saw the light with a title-page 
that read, " Edwin and Angelina, a ballad ; by Mr. Goldsmith. Printed 
for the amusement of the Countess of Northumberland." It afterwards 
appeared in the Vicar of Wakefield with the title of The Hermit. — 
Forster's Life of Goldsmith, vol. i, p. 403. 

C 22 n 

Desertions. "The desertion among the troops at Boston daily encreases. 
By private letters from America, to the full as authentic as any with 
which the Ministry are furnished, we are informed, that more than 
three hundred of the soldiers have quitted their respective regiments. 
The sagacity of General Gage has been exerted to prevent this alarm- 

72 Notes 

ing evil, but hitherto the General's stratagems have all proved ineffect- 
ual ; the men who are placed as centinels to hinder others from desert- 
ing, are themselves the very men who take the most sudden flight." — 
London advices in the Essex Gazette, Nov. 8, I 774. 

"The desertions have been so great of late that the troops had orders 
last evening to call the roll every half hour till further orders." — Let- 
ters of John Andrews, p. 388. 

" No more troops will be sent from Ireland to America, but from 
Great Britain. This regulation has been occasioned by the great deser- 
tion of the Irish regiments under General Gage." — London advices in 
Massachusetts Gazette, Nov. 21, 1774. 

C 23 1 

Referring to the uprising in Scotland in 1745 for the Chevalier 
Charles Edward. 

C 24 1 

General Gage had married the daughter of a Colonist and was sus- 
pected in the army of being so much under her influence as to share 
with her important state secrets. 

C 25 ] 

" Boys, war 's begun and school 's done ; deponite libros." 

C 26 ] 

Major Pitcairn at Lexington. " Major Pitcairn, who was a good 

Man in a bad Cause, insisted upon it to the day of his Death, that the 

Colonists fired first. . . . He does not say that he saw the Colonists fire first. 

Had he said it, I would have believed him, being a Man of Integrity 

& Honor." — Diary of Ezra Stiles, D.D., President of Tale College, 

vol. i, p. 604. 


Notes 73 

C 27 3 

Col. Saltonstall and Mr. Vassall. Colonel Richard Saltonstall, 
who was much admired for his military knowledge and attainments, 
was born in 1732, and graduated at Harvard in 1751. An ardent loyal- 
ist he declined to draw his sword against the King, but he could not 
bring himself to bear arms against his countrymen. He went to Eng- 
land in 1775, and died there ten years later. Sabine declares that "his 
integrity, frankness, and benevolence, his politeness, superior under- 
standing, and knowledge of the world, won general praise and admira- 

John Vassall was born in Cambridge in 1738, and graduated at Har- 
vard in 1757. He was driven from Cambridge by mobs in 1775, and 
his house became the headquarters of Washington during the siege of 
Boston. Mr. Vassall went to England in 1776, and died there in 1797. 

C 28 ] 

"It seems the officers and soldiers* are a good deal disaffected to- 
wards the Governor, thinking, I suppose, that he is partial to the in- 
habitants, many of the latter have made no scruple to call him an Old 
Woman." — Letters of John Andrews, page40l. 

C 29 ] 

Lord Rawdon at Bunker Hill. Lord Rawdon was clearly the hero 
of Bunker Hill on the British side. In a letter now in the possession of 
the author and dated Boston, June 23d, General Clinton writes as fol- 
lows : 

" I heard from everybody my friend Lord Rawdon commended for 
his coolness and manly intrepidity during the action. I saw myself one 
instance of it. The Enemy occupied some houses from which they 
annoy'd us a good deal, [and] his Lordship hearing I intended to advice 


74 Notes 

Gen'l Howe to occupy a post exposed but too much to their fire, in- 
sisted on being detached for that purpose, assembled his Grenadiers and 
seemed in that sort of impatience to go which did him great honour. 
His request however your Lordship may easily conceive could not be 
Comply'd with ; but that spirited offer, after as sharp an action as had 
been fought in a great while, and in which he had received a shot 
through his hat, made a great impression on me." 

r. 30 1 

The Death of Pitcairn. "Lieutenant Pitcairn,son to the Major, was 
standing by his father when that noble officer fell and expired without 
uttering a word. He looked very wistfully at the lieutenant, who kneeled 
down and cried out, 'My father is killed, I have lost my father.' This 
slackened the firing of the regulars for some minutes, many of the men 
echoing the words, 'We have all lost a father.' " — Upcott, iv, p. 313. 
Maoris Diary of the American Revolution. 

" Major Pitcairn was a brave and good man. His son, an officer in 
the same corps, and near him when he fell, carried his expiring father 
upon his back to the boats, about a quarter of a mile, kissed him, and 
instantly returned to his duty. This circumstance, in the hands of a good 
painter or historian, would equal most that can be found in antiquity." 

— Burgoyne to Lord Palmerston. 

" Lieutenant Pitcairn of the Marines (who brought his father, Major 
Pitcairn, when mortally wounded at Boston, off the field of action) is 
appointed a captain-lieutenant and captain in the said corps, though not 
in his turn, as an acknowledgment of the services of his gallant father." 

— English Paper of August 1 5, 1775, quoted in Frothingham' s Siege of 

Pitcairn breathed his last in a house in the North End of Boston 
which tradition still points out. His remains were sent to England and 
interred in the Church of St. Bartholomew the Less in London where 


Notes 75 

his brother Doctor William and his son Doctor David also lie. There 
is a gruesome legend to the effect that the remains of Lieutenant Shea 
were sent by mistake to London instead of those of Pitcairn and that 
the ashes of the Major repose beneath Christ Church in Boston. 

c 3* : 

Captain Fox at Bunker Hill. "Since I began this I 've heard the 
news of the action near Boston. Oh Lord ! how it makes one's blood 
run cold to think of any action, much more such a bloody one as that, 
& among one's own people almost. Thank God our friends are safe; 
General Howe was so good in the midst of his hurry to name dear 
Harry Fox to his wife, & says, though in the midst of the hottest part 
of the action, he remained unhurt & is quite safe; poor little Mrs. 
Howe fainted away with only the shock of the word action, and could 
not for a long time believe her husband was alive till luckily his letter 
came." — Lady Sarah Bunbury to Lady Susan O'Brien, July 29, 1775. 
Life and Letters of Lady Sarah Lennox, vol. i, p. 242. 

C 32 ] 

Burgoyne and the Old South. Deacon Timothy Newell made the 
entry in his diary under date of October 25, 1775, that the desecration 
of the Old South Meeting-House "was effected by the solicitation of 
General Burgoyne." This, with other contemporaneous assertions to 
the same effect, has betrayed modern historians into the mis-statement 
that it was the Queen's 16th Light Dragoons (of which regiment Bur- 
goyne was Colonel) that misused the old church. The fact is that Bur- 
goyne's regiment was not in Boston, and did not embark for America 
until the summer of 1776. It was the 1 7th Light Dragoons (Preston's) 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Birch, which came to Boston in 1775, and 
occupied the Old South. Burgoyne was doubtless interested in this regi- 
ment as an old cavalry officer, and because of his interest in Captain 
Stanley, but it is not clear that he was in any way responsible for the 
location or establishment of the riding-school. 


7 6 


C 33 3 

Percy succeeded his father as Duke of Northumberland in June, 1786. 

C 3+ 3 

Gould's Elopement. Gould eloped with the only daughter of Henry, 
third Earl of Sussex. Mrs. Delaney alludes to the affair in writing to 
the Honorable Mrs. Boscawen under date of November 1, 1775. In 
after years Gould's son Henry proved himself worthy of his sire by 
running away with the daughter of a Warwickshire farmer. 

C 35 3 

The Reverend John Horne. Mr. Home, better known as Home 
Tooke, had in 1775 signed an advertisement issued by the Constitu- 
tional Society requesting a subscription for "the relief of the widows, 
orphans, and aged parents of our beloved American subjects, who faith- 
ful to the character of Englishmen, preferring death to slavery, were, 
for that reason only, inhumanly murdered by the King's troops, at or 
near Lexington and Concord, in the province of Massachusetts, on the 
19 th of April last." He was found guilty of uttering "a gross libel," 
and sentenced to a fine of ,£200 and a year in prison. 

r. 36 n 

"You will now pity the poor General who has been a dupe from the 
beginning,and sheds floods of tears; nay, has actually turned his daugh- 
ter out of doors." — Horace Walpole to Miss Berry, February 13, 1791. 

C 37 3 

"The Howes are not in fashion. Lord Percy has come home disgusted 
by the younger." — Horace Walpole to Sir Horace Mann, June 18,1777. 


Notes 77 

C 38 ] 

Earl Percy's Divorce. The Earl had married in 1764 Lady Anne 
Stewart, third daughter of John, Earl of Bute, and had separated from 
her in 1769, or nine years before his divorce. This lady was a grand- 
daughter of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and there is a glimpse of 
her in the "journals and Correspondence of Miss Berry, London, 1865. 

C 39 ] 

Lord Algernon Percy married in June, 1775, Isabella Susannah, 
second daughter of Peter Burrell, of Beckenham, Kent, sister of the 
first Lord Gwydyr. 

The Duke of Northumberland and the Prince of Wales. 
"On June 10, 1803, the Prince wrote from Brighton asking that his 
'young friendTom Sheridan ' should be nominated by the Duke for one 
of his vacant boroughs. Northumberland replied that he could not grant 
the request as Lord Percy would soon be of age, and the vacant boroughs 
should be kept open for his selection." — Gerald Brennans " House of